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This study examined the occurrence of a V̇O2 plateau at maximal exercise, and whether ventilatory threshold (VT) differend between children who do and children who do not achieve a V̇O2 plateau at maximal exercise. After performing a graded exercise test on a treadmill to assess VT and V̇O2max, the children were divided into a plateau group (n = 14) and a nonplateau group (n = 12). There were no differences with respect to the V̇O2 at VT (36.7 ± 3.4 vs. 37.9 ± 5.4 ml · kg−1 · min−1) and V̇O2max (51.6 ± 5.4 vs. 54.6 ± 3.6 ml · kg−1 · min−1) in the plateau and nonpiateau groups, respectively. The mean HR, RER, and RPE at maximal exercise were also similar between groups. These results indicate that VT and V̇O2max are similar in children regardless of the occurrence of a V̇O2 plateau at maximal exercise. Furthermore, a plateau in V̇O2 during a maximal exercise test is not mandatory for assessment of V̇O2max in this age group.
The authors are with the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306.